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29 August 2019

Comrades Champion Gerda Steyn has set her sights on the final two evenrts in the FNB Run Your City Series, the 4th annual FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN (24 September) and 3rd annual FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN (13 October).

"When I was asked to run the New York Marathon again this year, I immediately put the two FNB races on my schedule," said inspirational champion Steyn from her training base, Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise in the South East of France.

Steyn has had a phenomenal two years of racing, winning the Two Oceans Marathon twice, second in 2018 Comrades with a win in 2019, smashing the women's Up Run record and achieving a marathon PB in New York.

"I will be racing a 10km in Middlesborough, England, this weekend to see where my fitness is. I will come back here (Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise) for two weeks before heading back to South Africa for the FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN. I will then stay in South Africa, with a short visit to Lesotho, before heading off to New York. I have had an incredible year. My training is going really well and I am gunning for a PB in NY. So, the FNB Durbank 10K CITYSURFRUN will be my final fitness test. That is why I want a PB there."

Steyn took a minute off her previous PB in the 10km in Durban last year when she finished 5th overall, clocking 33:36. The target was a sub-34 for Steyn, which would have improved her previous best time of 34:35 by just over 30 seconds. By taking a minute off her PB, Steyn had moved into new ground.

"I know the course (in Durban) is fast and that the race is fast. I will go out fast like I did in 2018 and then try to hang on as best I can. Isn't that how you run a 10km? Steyn went on to say.

The then 28-year-old surprised all and sundry when she finished second in the FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN in September 2018. It is a tough course with some tough climbs. Clearly this played into the hands of Steyn. But she has no expectations for the race in 2019, other than to run it hard. "It is a tough course, and at altitude. So it's not about time for me there, it is about how the body handles the punishment. I will do a sharpening up period of about two weeks for the Joburg and Durban races. I always do that before any race."

Steyn has high expectations for the second half of 2019 after the incredible first 6 months. "Had you asked me in the beginning of the year if I expected to have had such a great 2019, I woud have been surprised. I knew that I was in better shape than in 2018. All the training showed that, but such improvements? No, I did not expect that."

"This has me really excited for the rest of the year. In New York the target is a sub 2:30. And if I run my 10km PB in Durban, then I know I will hit my target in New York. So I am really excited about racing in both the FNB races."

The FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN takes place on Tuesday 24 September, with the final of the FNB Run Your City Series, the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN happening on Sunday 13 October where it is expected that one of the fastest times in the year over 10km will be set.

The FNB Run Your City Series consists of three events: the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN (5th anniversary in 2019), FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN (4th anniversary in 2019) and FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN (3rd anniversary in 2019). Exhilirating mass participation road races, each event celebrates the splendour of its host city. Runners (and walkers) will be treated to a journey that will highlight iconic landmarks and feature lively performances on route.

Over the short period of 5 years, the series has grown to over 40 000 runners in the three cities and attained IAAF Bronze Label Status in two events. The Durban race is now chasing Gold Label Status. The significance of that cannot be underestimated. It means that the FNB Run Your City Series will attract some of the best athletes in the world, which means that South Africa's top athletes get to race the best on home soil. As a result fast times will be recorded on the African Continent.

Over the past 5 years the series has delivered compelling racind and fast times which will now be shared with the world through the process of a Livestream. the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN will be livestreamed as was the Cape Town leg of the FNB Run Your Ciy Series.

Date: Tuesday 24 September 2019 (National Heritage Day)
Start: FNB Bank City in Johannesburg
Finish: Mary Fitzgerald Square (Newtown)
Charities: When entering online runners can choose to support one (or all four) of the event's charities: Cotlands, Johannesburg Heritage Foundations, Johannesburg SPCA, Reach For a Dream Foundation.
Prize Purse: R250 000

Date: Sunday 13 October 2019
Start: Blue Lagoon (Athlone Drive)
Finish: Beachfront Precinct (near the Bike and Bean)
Charities: When entering online runners can choose to support one (or all five) of the event's charities: The Reach For a Dream Foundation, TREE, Durban & Coast SPCA, LIV Village, iThemba Lethu.
Prize Purse: R250 000

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